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Posted by: In: Other 31 Jan 2023 Comments: 0


971-Echo & the Bunnymen-Bring On the Dancing Horses.

1985-Number 21 single.

Best Bit-At 3.23. They had a mate who kept suggesting names, they could have been ‘The Daz Men,’ or ‘Glisseroi and the Fan Extractors,’ but they saw sense, and chose the much more sensible ‘Echo & the Bunnyman.’

Echo & the Bunnymen were formed in Liverpool, England, in 1978 by Ian McCulloch, (vocals, guitar, and keyboards) Will Sergeant, (guitars) and Les Pattinson (bass.) In 1979, prior to the release of their debut studio Album they were joined by Pete de Fretas, (1961-1989) (drums) who on becoming the groups first drummer, replaced the drum machine (affectionately known as ‘Echo’) that they had relied upon until then. The quartet would remain together until the departure of Ian McCulloch in 1988, who was replaced by the Northern Irish singer Noel Burke. McCulloch who is known for being outspoken said of his replacement,’I think it’s pretty obvious what I think. Noel Burke, the name says it all really doesn’t it? No, that’s not fair. It wasn’t his fault, it was Will and Pete who were the berks really. But no, I thought it was disgraceful and after that I suppose it was quite surprising that I continued working with Will after that. I’m glad I did though. Johnny Marr (see also best songs 673-222-167 and 42) called them Echo and the Bogusmen when that happened.’ McCulloch and Sergeant did begin working together again in 1994 using the name ‘Electrafixion,’ before reverting back to ‘Echo & the Bunnymen’ in 1996. In total there have been seven different official members of the band, with both McCulloch and Sergeant still active at the time of writing.

The discography of Echo & the Bunnymen includes 13 studio Albums released between 1980-2018, and 30 singles issued between 1979-2018, there are also nine official compilation Albums available. In the UK, 14 of their singles have reached the top 40, with ‘The Cutter’ from 1983, and ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ from 1997, both charting the highest at Number 8. McCulloch and Sergeant (with two others) when working as ‘Electrafixion’ also released an Album (‘Burned’) in 1995, as well as five singles between 1994-1997. McCulloch has also released four solo studio Albums between 1989-2012, and nine singles between 1984-2003, while Sergeant has issued four solo Albums between 1978-2012, and four singles between 1982-2000.

‘Bring On the Dancing Horses’ was recorded for the 1986 American teen romantic comedy-drama film ‘Pretty in Pink,’ and was also the only brand new track on Echo & the Bunnymen’s 1985 compilation Album ‘Songs to Learn & Sing,’ which was a collection of all of their 11 singles up to that point. All four of the groups members share the writing credits, with ‘The Bunnymen,’ and Laurie Latham producing. Latham who had previously worked with artists such as ‘Squeeze,’ and ‘The Stranglers,’ had his greatest success in 1979 when producing the UK Number 1 single ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ (see also best songs 150.)

Ian McCulloch has explained the meaning behind ‘Bring On the Dancing Horses,’It’s about the way people would sooner look at statues than themselves. We revere things that tell us about ourselves. It’s that thing of how we think art is very important. A life without art, who knows what that would be like? We think the Mona Lisa is this thing that’s valuable, when something else isn’t.

In my personal opinion, reading between the lines, I think that Ian McCulloch is telling us to make up our own minds about what is important, and what really matters, and don’t just believe something, because that is what you were told.

‘Jimmy Brown, made of stone. Charlie Clown, no way home. Bring on the dancing horses, headless and all alone, shiver and say the words of every lie you’ve heard. First I’m gonna make it, then I’m gonna break it ’til it falls apart.’

For a list of all the best 1000 songs Google Barry Philips Discos Blog.

Posted by: In: Other 30 Jan 2023 Comments: 0


972-Fountains of Wayne-Stacy’s Mom.

2003-Number 11 single.

Best Bit-At 1.05. They say that if you want to know what you’re girlfriend will look like in 30 years time, take a look at her mother.

The Fountans of Wayne were formed in New York, New York, United States, in 1995, by Adam Schlesinger, (1967-2020) (bass, keyboards, and rhythm guitar) and Chris Collingwood (lead vocals.) The pair had first met as freshmen at ‘Williams College,’ Massachusetts, in the early 1990’s, and had both gone their separate ways, before teaming up again. After signing with ‘Atlantic Records’ they recruited Jody Porter, (guitar) and Brian Young, (drums) the quartet would remain active until 2013. After the death of Adam Schlesinger from complications from COVID-19 on April 1, 2020, the surviving members of Fountains of Wayne performed together for the first time in around seven years, as part of a charity live stream event to raise funding for the ‘New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.’ The performance was a tribute to Adam Schlesinger, and featured the American singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten taking Schlesinger’s place on bass guitar.

The Fountains of Wayne who took their name from a ‘lawn ornament store’ in Wayne, New Jersey, that closed in 2009, released five studio Albums between 1996-2011, and 17 singles also in that same time period, there is also a compilation Album of ‘B’ sides, and previously unreleased material, which was issued as a two disc release in 2005 called ‘Out-of-State Plates.’ In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, only ‘Stacy’s Mom’ has charted, when reaching Number 21, while in the UK, they have charted on three occasions, with the other two hits being ‘Radiation Vibe,’ (1996-Number 32) and ‘I Want an Alien for Christmas’ (1997-Number 36.)

‘Stacy’s Mom’ was the first of three singles released from the Fountains of Wayne’s third studio Album ‘Welcome Interstate Managers,’ from June 2003. As with all of the bands original material it was always credited to Adam Schlesinger, and Chris Collingwood, as the pair didn’t want any arguments about what percentage of each song they wrote, although in interviews Schlesinger has claimed authorship of this one. This single and it’s parent Album was co-produced by Schlesinger, Collingwood, and Mike Denneen.

‘Stacy’s Mom’ tells the tale of an adolescent boy who has developed a huge crush on his girlfriends (Stacy) very attractive mother. Adam Schlesinger has said that part of the inspiration for the song came from a friend with whom he had grown up with who thought that his grandmother was attractive,’One of my best friends, when we were maybe 11 or 12, came to me and announced that he thought my grandmother was hot, and I said, ‘Hey, you’re stepping over the line,’ but at that point in life, I wouldn’t put it past anyone,’ Schlesinger has also said that he had the Simon & Garfunkel hit ‘Mrs Robinson’ in mind when writing the song, and musically he admits taking influence from the genres of ‘New Wave,’ and ‘Power Pop,’ he has said,’I was thinking about the ‘Cars,’ a ‘Rick Springfield’ (see also best songs 929) sort of thing.” The song ‘owes a debt’ to the ‘Cars’ ‘Just What I Needed,’ its opening guitar riff is similar.’ The ‘Cars’ frontman Ric Ocasek (1944-2019) thought that the intro was a sample from ‘Just What I Needed,’ but Schlesinger says they performed it in the studio and just ‘Got it right.’

‘Stacy’s Mom’ has a very memorable video that features the New Zealand model Rachel Hunter as the object of the adolescent boy’s desire as ‘Stacy’s mom.’ There are several references to the American Rock band the ‘Cars’ in the video, a license plate reads ‘I LOVE RIC,’ which is a reference to Rik Ocasek, and one of the boys in the opening scene has dark hair, sunglasses, and clothes, that make him look like an adolescent version of Ocasek. The final clip in the video is a re-creation of a scene from the 1982 coming of-age comedy ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’ where one of the that films main characters is also called ‘Stacy.’ The ‘Cars’ 1978 song ‘Moving in Stereo’ is also featured on that films soundtrack. Although the video has several light-hearted comedic moments, I personally find the video a little ‘creepy’ due to how young the boys appear, but I might just be being a prude.

‘Stacy, do you remember when I mowed your lawn? Your mom came out with just a towel on. I could tell she liked me from the way she stared, and the way she said, “You missed a spot over there”

Posted by: In: Other 29 Jan 2023 Comments: 0


973-Danny & the Juniors-Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay.

1958-It has never charted in the UK.

Best Bit-At 1.56. They must have been psychic.

Danny & the Juniors are a ‘Doo-Wop,’ and ‘Rock N’ Roll’ vocal group that was formed in 1955 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, by Danny Rapp, (1941-1983) (lead vocal) Frank Maffei, (2nd tenor) Joe Terranova, (1941-2019) (baritone) and David White Tricker, (1939-2019) (first tenor.) The quartet had met while attending ‘John Bartram High School’ in Southwest, Philadelphia, and at the time of writing they remain active, with Frank Maffei, who is the groups one constant, performing with his brother Booby Maffai.

The quartet started out life performing at local events as the ‘Juvenaires,’ where they were discovered by the American songwriter/producer John Madara, who got then signed to their first recording contract in 1957. It was Madara, and David White Tricker who wrote the groups first recording ‘Do the Bop,’ as ‘Johnny Madara and The Juvenaires.’ Artie Singer (1919-2008) who co-owned the record label (‘Singular Records’) that ‘Do the Bop’ was recorded on then took the song to the influential American television presenter Dick Clark, (1929-2012) who suggested the group change their name to the ‘Juniors,’ and also rename the song. The song was re-recorded as ‘At the Hop,’ and went to Number 1 on Billboard, selling in excess of 1.5 million copies in America.

The discography of ‘Danny & the Juniors’ excluding re-issues includes 18 singles released between 1957-1964, they have never released a studio Album, but the first of many compilation Albums ‘Rockin’ With Danny and The Juniors’ was issued in 1983. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles, three of their songs have made the top 40, with ‘At the Hop,’ making Number 1, and ‘Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay,’ reaching Number 19. In the UK, only ‘At the Hop’ has charted, when making Number 3 in 1958, and also reaching Number 39 when re-issued in 1976.

‘Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay’ was written by David White Tricker, and produced by Artie Singer, being released as the follow up single to ‘At the Hop’ in January 1958. Other charts hits written by Tricker, with John Madara include the ‘feminist anthem’ ‘You Don’t Own Me,’ for Lesley Gore (Billboard Number 2 1964) and ‘1-2-3,’ for Len Barry (Billboard Number 2, and UK Number 3 in 1965.) ‘Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay’ is one of the songs performed by the American Rock N’ Roll band ‘Sha Na Na’ in the 1978 movie ‘Grease’ (see also best songs 768.) ‘Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay’ is also alluded to by Neil Young in his 1979 song ‘My My, Hey Hey, (Out of the Blue’) (see also best songs 602) where he sings ‘Rock and Roll is here to stay’ in a mocking manner, as he expresses his disillusionment with fame.

By 1958 the ‘new fad’ of ‘Rock N’ Roll’ music was in danger of disappearing just as quickly as it had arrived. Elvis Presley (1935-1977) (see also best songs 954-664-442 and 194) was in the army, and Little Richard, (1932-2020) (see also best songs 521) Jerry Lee Lewis (1935-2022) (see also best songs 678-362 and 99) and Chuck Berry (1926-2017) (see also best songs 548-308 and 30) were causing more than their fare share of controversy. ‘Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay’ was written as a rallying cry that ‘Rock N’ Roll’ was now a part of everyday life, as there were some conservative American radio stations, including ‘KWK’ in St. Louis, that had called on their listeners to ‘smash these undesirable Rock and Roll records.’

‘If you don’t like Rock ‘N Roll, think what you’ve been missin,’ but if you like to bop and strawl, come on down and listen. Let’s all start to have a ball, everybody Rock ‘N Roll.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Jan 2023 Comments: 0


974-Luther Vandross-Never Too Much.

1981-It first charted in the UK in 1983, when reaching Number 44. It was then re-mixed, and re-released in 1989, and peaked at Number 13.

Best Bit-At 0.01.’A thousand kisses from you’ is just not realistic, as you will surely end up with chapped lips.

Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr. was born on April 20th, 1951, in New York City, United States, he suffered from diabetes and hypertension, and after suffering a severe stroke in April 2003, he died on July 1st, 2003, of a heart attack at the age of 54. Luther began performing at amateur nights at the ‘Apollo’ theatre in Harlem in 1969. He became a member of the singing group ‘Listen My Brother’ while performing at the ‘Apollo,’ which led to him appearing on the pilot episode, and other episodes of ‘Sesame Street,’ during 1969-1979.

In the early 1970’s Luther made his living as a backing vocalist, and occasional songwriter, he also wrote, and sang commercial jingles for companies, including, ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken,’ and ‘Burger King.’ The list of artists Luther sang backing for is far too substantial to write about here, but two which appear in this countdown are Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, (see also best songs 541) and David Bowie, on his ‘Young Americans Album (see also best songs 209.) In 1975 while singing backing vocals for David Bowie, (1947-2016) Bowie re-wrote Luther’s song ‘Funky Music (Is a Part of Me,’) which became the Bowie song ‘Fascination.’ Luther made his breakthrough as a featured singer as part of the put together studio band ‘Change,’ singing the lead on two of their UK top 40 hits in 1980,’The Glow of Love, (UK Number 14) and ‘Searching,’ (UK Number 11) Luther said that ‘The Glow of Love’ was the most beautiful song I’ve ever sung in my life.’

The discography of Luther Vandross includes 13 studio Albums released between 1981-2003, and 59 singles that were issued between 1981-2006. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 top 40 singles chart, Luther achieved 11 top 40 hits, with his 1994 duet with Mariah Carey on ‘Endless Love,’ charting the highest at Number 2, while in the UK, he has had 18 top 40 hits, with his 1992 collaboration with Janet Jackson, ‘BBD,’ and Ralph Tresvant, on ‘The Best Things in Life Are Free,’ charting the highest at Number 2. Luther Vandross who has sold in excess of 40 million records worldwide is considered one of the best male vocalists of all time, with Mariah Carey (see also best songs 822) in 2008 saying in several interviews, that standing next to Luther Vandross while recording their duet ‘Endless Love’ was intimidating.

‘Never Too Much’ was the debut solo single from Luther Vandross, and was taken from his debut studio Album of the same name from August 1981. Luther wrote, and also produced the song, as well as singing lead and backing vocals, also providing backing vocals on the track was Cissy Houston (see also best songs 228.) When ‘Never Too Much was first released it made Number 33 in America on Billboard, and failed to chart in the UK, but in 1989 the song was released again, this time with two different remixes, one by ‘Justin Strauss,’ and one by ‘Ben Liebrand.’ In the UK the song this time reached Number 13, although it failed to chart in America.

‘Never Too Much’ is a song about being in love, and being totally infatuated with another person. The song never mentions genders, and this is probably because Luther Vandross was gay, but he never came out. In 2012 Luther’s friend, who was also his childhood idol, the American R&B singer Patti LaBelle confirmed that he was gay. LaBelle said ‘Luther thought that coming out as gay would harm his career, given that his target audience were women seeking some mode of emotional engagement from his words.’ LaBelle also said that Luther had a lot of lady fans, and ‘He just didn’t want to upset the world.’

‘I can’t fool myself, I don’t want nobody else to ever love me. You are my shining star, my guiding light, my love fantasy. There’s not a minute, hour, day or night, that I don’t love you.’

Posted by: In: Other 27 Jan 2023 Comments: 0


975-Brian Protheroe-Pinball.

1974-Number 22 single.

Best Bit-At 2.21. How about this for recognition. It is said that Morrissey (see also best songs 940-673-222-167-72 and 42) had told Noel Gallagher (see also best songs 1006-758 and 15) in a Los Angeles bar about this song. Gallagher then went and wrote the song ‘Riverman,’ having been inspired by hearing ‘Pinball.’

Brian Protheroe was born on June 16th, 1944, in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, he probably would have had an even more successful career as a musician, if it wasn’t for his first love of being an actor. Protheroe’s first job as an actor was with his local repertory theatre in Salisbury. He worked there for around seven months, then spent the next five years learning his craft in various theatre companies around Britain. In 1968 while working in a theatre company in Lincoln, he met Martin Duncan who was a musician, and the pair would collaborate on many occasions over the following years. In 1973 Protheroe was playing the part of a pop singer in a play called ‘Death on Demand,’ when a representative from ‘Chrysalis Records’ heard a song he had written for the show. Impressed with what he had heard, Protheroe was signed up to ‘Chrysalis Records’ for a four Album deal.

The discography of Brian Protheroe includes six studio Albums issued between 1974-2020, and 11 singles released between 1974-2019, there are also three official compilation Albums available. ‘Pinball’ remains his only charting song on the UK top 40, when reaching Number 22 in 1974. Protheroe has appeared in eight feature films between 1978-2019, including playing the part of a Co Pilot in the 1978 ‘Superman’ film starring Christopher Reeve (1952-2004.) He has also appeared in many television dramas, including ‘Lovejoy,’ and Holby City,’ and since 2015 he has narrated the Channel 4 dating show ‘First Dates.’

‘Pinball’ was released as the debut single from Brian Protheroe, and was taken from his debut studio Album of the same name. The song was written by Protheroe, and produced by Del Newman, (1930-2020) who would also work with Protheroe on his future ‘Chrysalis’ Albums. Other notable works from Newman include providing the string arrangements for Cat Stevens’ 1970 Album ‘Tea for the Tillerman,’ and conducting with George Martin, (1926-2016) the orchestral score for ‘Paul McCartney and Wings” theme song for the 1973 James Bond film ‘Live and Let Die.’

‘Pinball’ is an autobiographical song, which Brian Protheroe has described as,’A diary entry for one particular weekend in 1973.’ Protheroe has said he wrote the song at a time when he had just split with his girlfriend and was living in a friend’s flat in Covent Garden, London. ‘Pinball’ describes Protheroe’s despondent feelings, and his setbacks, and his activities at that time, (‘I’ve been playing Pinball,’) the lyrics also mention Marilyn Monroe, (1926-1962) and the 1968 Beatles song ‘Hey Jude’ (see also best songs 6.) ‘Pinball’ can also boast a ‘tenor saxophone’ which was played by Tony Coe. Coe is an English Jazz musician who has played on dozens of tracks in the Jazz world, including playing on three Georgie Fame Albums between 1966-1968.

Brian Protheroe has spoken about the writing of ‘Pinball,’ ‘I was out of work and living in a flea ridden room in Covent Garden. The song came out of the mundane things I saw over the course of the weekend, but it was also a plaintive, sad cry for the Beatles splitting a few years before. There’s a sax solo and other than that it’s very simple. There is no chorus, just folky verses.’ Protheroe has also said,’I’m very proud of ‘Pinball,’ it perfectly encapsulates how I was feeling at the time.’

‘Got fleas in my bedroom, got flies in my bathroom, and the cat (miaow) just finished off the bread. So I walk over Soho, and I read about Monroe, and I wonder was she really what they said.’

Posted by: In: Other 26 Jan 2023 Comments: 0


976-Rainbow-All Night Long.

1980-Number 5 single.

Best Bit-At 1.51. This song is responsible for the worst chat up line in the world ever.’Don’t know about your brain, but you look alright.’

Rainbow were formed in London, England, and Los Angeles, California, United States, in 1975, by Ritchie Blackmore, who had recently left Deep Purple, (see also best songs 550 and 89) and the four members of the American Rock band ‘Elf,’ they originally called themselves ‘Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, which was also the title of their debut studio Album released in 1975. Following the first Album Blackmore sacked the band with the exception of Ronnie James Dio, (1942-2010) and replaced them with three others including the drummer Cozy Powell (1947-1998) (see also best songs 864.) Ronnie James Dio who would go on to join Black Sabbath in 1979 (see also best songs 814) was the person responsible for inventing the ‘Heavy Metal Sign,’Sign of the Horns.’In September 2003, he accidentally severed his thumb during a gardening accident when a heavy garden gnome fell onto it. He was concerned he would no longer be able to do his signature ‘Devil’s Horns’ hand gesture, but a doctor managed to re-attach it. Dio died of stomach cancer on May 16th, 2010, at the age of 67. Rainbow remained active through until 1984, but reformed between 1993-1997, and then again from 2015, to the present day, in total there have been 29 different members come and go, with Ritchie Blackmore being the bands one constant.

Rainbow who have sold in excess of 28 million records worldwide have released eight studio Albums between 1975-1995, and 24 singles between 1975-2019, there are also 15 official live Albums, and 17 official compilation Albums available. In the UK, Rainbow have achieved seven top 40 singles, with ‘I Surrender’ from 1981 charting the highest at Number 3, while in America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, their only top 40 entry remains ‘Stone Cold’ from 1983, which reached Number 40, although they have had four singles make the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, with ‘Stone Cold’ reaching Number 1.

‘All Night Long’ was the second and final single released from ‘Down to Earth,’ which was the fourth studio Album from Rainbow, from August 1979. The song was written by Ritchie Blackmore, and Roger Glover, with Glover also producing, Glover had also been a member of Deep Purple, and had joined Rainbow in 1979, he stayed until 1984. ‘Down to Earth’ was a change in musical direction for Rainbow,’ whose music now had a far more commercial edge to it, the five who played on ‘All Night Long,’ and it’s parent Album were, Blackmore, (guitar) Glover, (bass) Cozy Powell, (drums) Graham Bonnet, (vocals) and Don Airey (keyboards.)

‘All Night Long’ is a song of lust, probably based on the real life experience of a ‘Rock Star’ being tempted by a beautiful young fan, who is more than willing to get to know him intimately. The song received a lot of criticism due to it’s perceived sexist lyrics, which prompted Ritchie Blackmore to say,’I think there’s a lot of women who are very boring. Everybody knows it’s all tongue in cheek, and anybody who doesn’t know that isn’t worth being talked about anyway. The whole world has always been men running after women, and the woman is the peacock going around with her feathers up, so that’s the way it will always be no matter how many people go around trying to change it.’ In September 1980 in an issue of ‘Sounds’ magazine which was a weekly Pop/Rock UK music newspaper, ‘All Night Long’ was criticised under a headline,’Sexism is no Joke,’ to which Roger Glover responded,’All Night Long was supposed to be funny.’

‘I saw you standing down by the stage, your black stockings and your see through dress. Your mouth is open but I don’t want to hear ya say goodnight. You’re sorta young but you’re over age, I don’t care cause I like your style, don’t know about your brain, but you look alright.’

Posted by: In: Other 25 Jan 2023 Comments: 0


977-Red Hot Chilli Peppers-Dani California.

2006-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 4.25. The ‘Dani’ in the song is a recurring character in the songs of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. She first appeared (although unnamed) as the ‘Teenage bride with the baby inside,’ on their 1999 song ‘Californication,’ and she was then name checked in 2002 as ‘Dani the girl,’ in their song ‘By the Way.’ Anthony Kiedis has stated that ‘Dani’ is not one particular person, but a composite of all the women with whom he has had a relationship. Kiedis has said,’When this funky groove came up it struck me as a perfect place to actually tell a story. It sort of revealed itself to me that it’s been the same character, just kind of developing. At first I didn’t realise that I was writing about the same girl.’

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were formed in Los Angeles, California, United States, in 1982, and at the time of writing they remain active. They took their stage name from the American Jazz artist Louis Armstrong’s first recording band ‘The Hot Five.’ Anthony Keidis has said,’There was Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) (see also best songs 1039-767-286-231 and 100) with his ‘Hot Five’, and also other bands that had ‘Red Hot,’ this, or ‘Chili’ that, but no one had ever been the ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers.” In total there have been 14 different members come and go, with two of the founding members, Anthony Kiedis, (vocals) and Flea, (Michael Balzary) (bass) being the groups only two constants. The other two current band members, who also played on this track are John Frusciante, (guitars, and keyboards) and Chad Smith (drums.)

Over the years the Red Hot Chili Peppers have incorporated elements of Alternative Rock, Funk, Punk Rock, Hard Rock, Hip Hop, and Psychedelic Rock into their sound, and are considered forerunners and innovators in the genres of Funk Metal, Rap Metal, Rap rock, and Nu Metal. The discography of The Red Hot Chili Peppers includes 13 studio Albums released between 1984-2022, and 71 singles issued between 1987-2022. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, eight of their songs have charted within the top 40, with ‘Under the Bridge’ from 1991 charting the highest at Number 2, while in the UK they have had 21 top 40 hits, with both this song and ‘By the Way’ (2002) both peaking at Number 2. In total to date the Red Hot Chili Peppers have sold in excess of 120 million records worldwide.

‘Dani California’ was the first of five singles released from the Red Hot Chili Peppers ninth studio Album ‘Stadium Arcadium’ from May 2006, the song was written by all four band members at that time, and was produced by Rick Rubin (see also best songs 610 and 305.) As you will read on many other occasions in this countdown, nothing in ‘Pop Music’ is totally original.’Dani California’ is influenced by two other songs, one of which is the intro to the ‘Psychedelic Rock’ track ‘Purple Haze,’ by Jimi Hendrix, (1942-1970) (see also best songs 983 and 492) and the other, and more controversially is the song ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance’ from Tom Petty (1950-2017) (see also best songs 769.) Many thought that Tom Petty would go ahead and sue the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but he told ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine,’I seriously doubt that there is any negative intent there. And a lot of Rock and Roll songs sound alike. Ask Chuck Berry. The Strokes took ‘American Girl’ for their song ‘Last Nite’, (see also best songs 450) and I saw an interview with them where they actually admitted it. That made me laugh out loud. I was like, ‘OK, good for you.’ It doesn’t bother me. If someone took my song note for note and stole it maliciously, then maybe, but I don’t believe in lawsuits much. I think there are enough frivolous lawsuits in this country without people fighting over pop songs.’ As I say nothing in ‘Pop Music’ is totally original, and if you take a listen to ‘The Jayhawks,’ with their 1992 song ‘Waiting for the Sun,’ you will hear similarities to ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance,’ which was perhaps one of the reasons why Tom Petty had no wish to sue, incidentally ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance’ had also like ‘Dani California’ been produced by Rick Ruben.

‘Dani California’ tells of the short life of ‘Dani,’ a poor young southern girl who eventually ends up in California, She becomes a mother, and lives a hard, and unsettled life, and then finally she is killed by a policeman in North Dakota, while committing a robbery.

‘Getting born in the state of Mississippi, Papa was a copper, and her mama was a hippy. In Alabama she would swing a hammer, price you got to pay when you break the panorama.’

Posted by: In: Other 24 Jan 2023 Comments: 0


978-Nancy Sinatra-These Boots Are Made for Walkin’

1966-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 2.27. For those with a boot fetish this is the anthem, especially if they are ‘Kinky.’

Nancy Sandra Sinatra was born on June 8th, 1940, in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States, she is the daughter of Frank Sinatra, (1915-1998) (see also best songs 877-567-469-120 and 73) and his first wife Nancy Barbato (1917-2018.) Nancy Sinatra began her career as a singer and an actress when appearing on her father’s American ‘ABC’ television variety series in November 1957. Running alongside her music career, Sinatra also appeared in eight feature films between 1964-1968, including ‘Marriage on the Rocks,’ (1965) which starred Frank Sinatra, and ‘Speedway,’ (1968) which starred Elvis Presley (1935-1977.)

The discography of Nancy Sinatra includes 13 studio Albums released between 1966-2013, plus three collaborative Albums with Lee Hazlewood, (1929-2007) (see also best songs 1010-367 and 124) there is also ‘The Sinatra Family Wish You a Merry Christmas,’ Album, that was recorded with Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jr. (1944-2016) and Tina Sinatra in 1968, and a 1981 Album ‘Mel & Nancy,’ with the American Country music singer Mel Tillis (1932-2017.) There have also been 72 singles issued between 1961-2021, with 10 of those reaching the Billboard Hot 100 top 40, of which two made Number 1, this song in 1966, and the duet with Frank Sinatra on ‘Somethin’ Stupid’ in 1967. In the UK Nancy Sinatra has reached the top 40 on nine occasions, with the same two singles both making Number 1.

‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ was written and produced by Lee Hazlewood, and was the second single issued from Nancy Sinatra’s debut studio Album ‘Boots,’ from March 1966. The song provided the commercial breakthrough for Nancy Sinatra, after all of her previous 12 singles had failed to chart in America. There are two stories as to where Lee Hazlewood got the idea for the song, one is that he took it from a line spoken by Frank Sinatra in the 1963 comedy-western film, where Sinatra says,’They tell me them boots ain’t built for walkin.’ Hazlewood has also told the tale where he was in a Texas bar when some patrons started ‘razzing’ an older guy about his younger girlfriend, and how she controlled him. The man responded by putting his feet on a bar stool and saying, ‘I know what you think, that she might be the boss, but I am the boss of my house, and these boots will walk all over her the day that I’m not.’ Lee Hazlewood had intended to record the song himself, but Nancy Sinatra talked him out of it by telling him that,’Coming from a guy it was harsh and abusive, but was perfect for a little girl to sing.’ In later years Nancy Sinatra came to regret singing the song, saying in 1971,’The image created by ‘Boots’ isn’t the real me. ‘Boots’ was hard, and I’m as soft as they come.’

‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ was arranged and conducted by Billy Strange, (1930-2012) who would also go on to work on many of Nancy Sinatra’s future recordings, he also played guitar on the track. The songs iconic opening ‘walking’ bass-line, was played by Chuck Berghofer on the double bass, with members of the ‘Wrecking Crew’ also in attendance (see also best songs 846-811-744-672-660-527-486-262-202-197-192-180-127 and 71.) The song can also boast one of the most memorable promotional films of the 1960’s, a very early precursor to what would become a songs video. The film was recorded in colour, and features Nancy Sinatra miming to the song in black boots, performing a choreographed dance with six other female dancers, who are also all wearing black boots.

‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ is a song about a romantic relationship which has come to an end because he has cheated on her, but rather than cry and feel sorry for herself, she warns him to watch his back, because she can take revenge at anytime she wishes.

‘You keep sayin’ you got somethin’ for me, somethin’ you call love but confess. You’ve been a’messin’ where you shouldn’t ‘ve been a’messin,’ and now someone else is getting all your best.’

Posted by: In: Other 23 Jan 2023 Comments: 0


979-The Stone Roses-She Bangs the Drums.

1989-Number 34 single. When it was re-released in 1990, it peaked at Number 32.

Best Bit-At 1.11. When she bangs the drums, it’s the fantasy of every red blooded male.

The Stone Roses (see also best songs 253) were formed in Manchester, England, in 1993, and remained active through until 1996, they reformed in 2011, recording and touring together, until parting again in 2017. In total there have been 12 different members of The Stone Roses, but the four who are considered the classic line up, and who also played on this song are John Squire, (guitar) Ian Brown, (lead vocals) Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield, (bass) and Alan ‘Reni’ Wren (drums.) It was John Squire who chose the bands name, as Ian Brown has explained,’John thought up the name ‘Stone Roses,’ something with a contrast, two words that went against each other.’ The Stone Roses discography includes two studio Albums released in 1989, and 1994, and 15 singles issued between 1985-2016, there are also six official compilation Albums available. In the UK they have achieved 13 top 40 singles, (15, if you include the 1995, and 1999 remixes of ‘Fools Gold’) with only their first two releases failing to chart, with ‘Love Spreads’ from 1994 charting the highest at Number 2. In America they have never made the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, though they have reached the ‘Alternative Airplay’ top 20 on five occasions.

‘She Bangs the Drums’ was the third of seven singles released from The Stone Roses self titled debut Album from May 1989. All of the 11 tracks were co-written by Ian Brown, and John Squire, with the production by John Leckie. Leckie who would also go on to work on The Stone Roses second and final Album ‘Second Coming’ in 1994, was born on October 23rd, 1949, in Paddington, London, England. Leckie started out as a tape operator at ‘Abbey Road Studios’ in 1970, before graduating to an engineer, and then a producer. His first production work was with ‘Be-Bop Deluxe in 1975 (‘Sunburst Finish’) and among the many other high profile acts he has produced, include ‘Radiohead,’ ‘Simple Minds,’ and XTC.’

After the split of the Stone Roses in 1996, Ian Brown launched his solo career, and has to date released seven solo studio Albums between 1998-2019, and 19 singles between 1998-2018. In the UK 15 of those singles have made the top 40, with ‘My Star,’ (1998) and ‘Dolphins Were Monkeys,’ (2000) both peaking the highest at Number 5. John Squire went on to form ‘The Seahorses’ in 1996, releasing one Album, ‘Do It Yourself’ in 1997, and four singles which all made the UK top 40, with ‘Love Is the Law’ (1997) charting the highest at Number 3.Squire has also released two solo Albums in 2002, and 2004, and two singles in the same time period.

The Stone Roses self titled debut Album is one of the most critically acclaimed Albums in Pop Music history, In 2000 it received the ‘Greatest Album Ever’ award at the ‘NME Premier Awards’ show, and in 2006 the Album topped that magazine’s ‘100 Greatest Albums Ever’ list. In 2012 the American ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine placed the Album at Number 498 in their best of list, saying that the Album ‘Single-handedly launched Nineties Brit pop.’

‘She Bangs the Drums’ is a love song, probably about falling in love for the very first time. It’s about being totally infatuated by another person, the drums could well be the narrators heartbeat. The songs verses were written by Ian Brown, and the chorus by John Squire.

On a slightly different note, since first hearing this song in 1990, I had always been under the impression that is was called ‘She Bangs the Drum,’ and I have always introduced it that way when playing it. Recently when posting my write up of the track on social media someone pointed out to me that it is actually called ‘She Bangs the Drums,’ which stunned me, having not noticed that in over 30 years. I was wondering if a similar thing had ever happened to you?

‘Have you seen her, have you heard, the way she plays, there are no words to describe the way I feel. How could it ever come to pass, she’ll be the first, she’ll be the last, to describe the way I feel.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Jan 2023 Comments: 0


980-Cleveland Eaton-Bama Boogie Woogie.

1978-Number 35 single.

Best Bit-At 2.39. It’s amazing how the passing of the years doesn’t change the way you feel about certain songs. Even after all this time, I still get the same vibe off of this song, as I did as a teenager.

Cleveland Josephus Eaton 11 was born on August 31st, 1939, in Fairfield, Alabama, United States, he died on July 5th, 2020, at the age of 80, after being hospitalised for the last four months of his life. Cleveland Eaton was a composer, arranger, producer, and a band leader, but it is probably for playing the double bass that he will be best remembered.

Cleveland Eaton’s career in music began when playing Jazz with the ‘Ike Cole Trio’ in 1960, Ike Cole (1927-2001) was the brother of Nat ‘King Cole. Eaton made his first recordings with the ‘Donald Byrd (1932-2013) & Pepper Adams (1930-1986) Quintet,’ which included Herbie Hancock (see also best songs 713) soon after. Eaton has spoken about that time,’I knew Herbie Hancock, who was with Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams, he got me a job with them for a year and a half. I played the first ‘Watermelon Man,’ in fact; it was scribbled on a piece of paper at a club in East St. Louis, called Joseph’s Coffee House. Cleveland Eaton would next accept an offer to join the ‘Ramsey Lewis Trio’ (see also best songs 525) in 1964, some of the songs he played bass on include ‘Wade in the Water,’ (1966) and ‘Sun Goddess’ (1968.)

Between 1973-1980 Cleveland Eaton recorded five studio Albums, and also toured, and then in 1979 the legendary Count Basie (1904-1984) (see also best songs 73) called and asked him if he could fill in for a bass player who was ill. He was told that his services with the ‘Count Basie Orchestra’ would be needed for about two weeks, Eaton recalled,’After the two weeks he took me aside and said he was cutting the other guy loose, and did I want the job?’ The job would last for the next 17 years, where Eaton would play on nine Count Basie Albums, including his last recordings. Count Basie would refer to Cleveland Eaton during his tenure with the ‘Count Basie Orchestra’ as ‘The Counts Bassist.’

The discography of Cleveland Eaton includes five studio Albums released between 1973-1980, and the single ‘Bama Boogie Woogie,’ issued in 1978. He also recorded 17 studio Albums with Ramsey Lewis, and nine with the Count Basie Orchestra. In total Cleveland Eaton appeared on over 100 Albums, providing backing for some of the biggest names of the 20th Century, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Temptations, he was also the composer of around 300 songs.

During his career Cleveland Eaton dabbled in various musical genres, including ‘Swing,’ Jazz,’ Jazz Funk,’ ‘R&B,’ and ‘Funk,’ his second solo studio Album ‘Plenty Good Eaton’ from 1975 is considered a classic in the ‘Funk’ music genre. ‘Bama Boogie Woogie’ was written by Cleveland Eaton, and first appeared on his third studio Album ‘Instant Hip,’ from 1976, which was predominately a ‘Funk,’ and ‘Soul’ collection.

‘Bama boogie, got my boogie woogie, boogie bama, I’ve got my boogie woogie. Get yourself together, yeah.’